5 Pieces of Fitness Equipment Your Gym Probably Needs to Replace
Over time, all commercial exercise equipment will need repairs – if not replacement – from years of use. Unfortunately for fitness center managers, some machines tend to go more quickly than others. This can be due to both their popularity and also how the equipment itself is built. Here are some common areas to be mindful of regarding maintenance checks and equipment replacement.
- Gym or Fitness Flooring and Seams – Gym floors are built to withstand heavy traffic. Members frequently go from machine to machine during personal workouts, and move even more during group classes. Frequent use can cause areas of your fitness flooring to look worn down and also increases the likelihood that gym-goers will trip and fall, which increases your liability for injuries. Check carpet, carpet tiles and rubber mats for inconsistencies that could lead to a trip hazard. Similarly, wood floors can develop divots or plank buckling. Check all floor seams, too. If you see any peeling or unraveling, it’s time to schedule a gym flooring replacement.
- Treadmill Belts – The cardio area is one of the most visited areas in most fitness centers. Even the best of commercial exercise equipment, including high-performance treadmills, can experience belt malfunctions if the equipment is more than a few years old. Common problems include worn areas, edge fraying, belt stretching, and belt buckling. In this type of scenario, worn belts can be replaced separately without the need to replace the entire machine. That saves your gym money – and allows your customers to continue using their favorite machines longer. Check all cardio fitness equipment to make sure the mechanical functions are performing ideally. These include heart rate sensors, detachable screen monitors, pulleys, and motors. Listen for any grinding or high-pitch squealing. These are often indicators of an expensive motor repair or the need for a complete machine replacement. Some monitors can also malfunction and lose connectivity with TV networks or blue-tooth capabilities. If there is a monitor or other electrical issue with the commercial gym equipment, put an out of order sign on it to keep members from using it and be quick to repair or replace that piece in order to keep members happy and maximize the capacity of your gym space.
- Worn Grips on Dumbbells and Plate-Loaded Hammer Strength Machines – Seats and grips are usually some of the first areas to experience wear and tear on plate-loaded fitness equipment. When the seat or grip no longer provides support, your fitness members could risk serious athletic injuries like muscle strains or tears. Have your team test each piece of equipment weekly (at a minimum), especially if you have a high-traffic facility.
- Stretching Mats – Most fitness mats are made out of compressed rubber. Their main purpose is to provide comfort and joint support when individuals stretch and perform floor workouts. If the rubber crumbles, forms divots or displays signs of edge fraying, remove them from the floor and put out new ones so your members continue to enjoy a comfortable injury-free workout.
- Loose Free Weights – Free weights are key pieces of commercial fitness equipment. Most are built with a steel frame connected by screws. Some have a textured rubber coating for easier grip. The rubber also provides reduces noise and protects the equipment in case the weights are dropped. If the outer pieces of the dumbbell rattle or come loose, remove these from the floor to prevent injuries or further damage to your equipment. It is also advised to remove any rubber coated dumbbells or weight plates that are crumbling. They aren’t just undesirable to use, but they also pose a safety risk to the user.